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Hôtel d'Assézat

Historical Significance

The Hôtel d'Assézat stands as a testament to the rich history and architectural heritage of Toulouse. Built in the 16th century by Pierre d'Assézat, a wealthy merchant and capitoul (city councilor), the mansion was a symbol of his family's power and influence in the city. Originally designed as a grand residence, the Hôtel d'Assézat boasts a blend of Renaissance and Gothic architectural styles, showcasing intricate carvings, elegant arcades, and a stunning courtyard. Over the centuries, the building served various purposes, housing the city's mint, the Toulouse Academy of Sciences, and the Toulouse Fine Arts School. Today, the Hôtel d'Assézat is a museum, known as the Musée Georges Bemberg, which houses an impressive collection of fine art and decorative objects.


The Hôtel d'Assézat is conveniently located in the heart of Toulouse, a vibrant city in southwestern France. Its exact address is 33 Rue de Metz, placing it within easy reach of other notable attractions and landmarks. The neighborhood, known as the Quartier des Carmes, is renowned for its charm, history, and lively atmosphere.

Accessibility is a breeze, whether you choose to travel by public transportation or car. Several bus lines stop nearby, and the Palais de Justice metro station is a short walk away. For those arriving by car, there are multiple parking options in the vicinity, including the Indigo Cathédrale Esquirol car park.

Once you step out of the Hôtel d'Assézat, you'll find yourself surrounded by an array of captivating sights. The Place Esquirol, a bustling square, is just around the corner, while the majestic Cathédrale Saint-Étienne is a few minutes' walk away. Explore the winding streets and discover hidden gems like the Musée du Vieux Toulouse, which offers a glimpse into the city's rich past.

Permanent Collection

The Hôtel d'Assézat houses an impressive permanent collection that spans various artistic periods and genres. Visitors can admire a diverse range of works, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, tapestries, and decorative arts. The collection is particularly renowned for its exceptional Renaissance and Baroque pieces, which showcase the artistic mastery of the era.

Must-see highlights of the permanent collection include the stunning "Portrait of a Man" by Quentin Matsys, known for its exceptional realism and psychological depth. Another masterpiece is the delicate and ethereal "Virgin and Child" by Hans Memling, which captivates viewers with its intricate details and serene atmosphere. The collection also features a remarkable series of tapestries depicting scenes from the Old Testament, woven with vibrant colors and intricate craftsmanship.

In addition to these individual highlights, the permanent collection is organized into thematic sections and galleries that offer a deeper exploration of specific periods, artistic movements, or techniques. Visitors can delve into the world of Renaissance portraiture, admire the elegance of Baroque furniture, or discover the symbolism and narratives woven into the tapestries.

Temporary Exhibitions

The Hôtel d'Assézat hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions throughout the year, which brings new and exciting perspectives to the museum. These exhibitions often focus on specific themes or artists, allowing visitors to explore different aspects of art and culture.

Temporary exhibitions are typically held in the museum's dedicated exhibition space, which provides a modern and flexible environment for showcasing a wide range of artworks. The frequency of these exhibitions varies, but there are usually several per year, ensuring that there is always something new to see.

Past exhibitions have explored topics such as the history of photography, the works of renowned artists like Pablo Picasso, and the artistic traditions of different cultures. Upcoming exhibitions are often announced in advance on the museum's website, so visitors can plan their visits accordingly.

Whether you are a regular visitor to the Hôtel d'Assézat or a first-time guest, the temporary exhibitions offer a chance to discover new artistic expressions, gain insights into different periods and movements, and expand your understanding of the world of art.

Guided Tours

The Hôtel d'Assézat offers guided tours that provide visitors with a deeper insight into the history, architecture, and collection of the museum. These tours are conducted by knowledgeable guides who share their expertise and passion for the site.

Guided tours are available in several languages, including English, French, Spanish, and German. The cost of a guided tour is typically included in the admission fee, but it is advisable to check in advance to confirm.

The Hôtel d'Assézat's guided tours offer a unique perspective on the museum's collection and the history of the building itself. Visitors can learn about the lives of the wealthy merchants who built the Hôtel d'Assézat, the artists who created the works of art in the collection, and the significance of the site in the history of Toulouse.

Special Events and Workshops

The Hôtel d'Assézat is not just a museum; it is also a vibrant cultural hub that hosts a variety of special events and workshops throughout the year. These events provide an opportunity for visitors to engage with the museum's collection and history in a more interactive and immersive way.

Guided tours are available in French and English, and offer a unique perspective on the Hôtel d'Assézat's history, architecture, and collection. The museum also hosts regular workshops and lectures on topics related to art, history, and culture. These events are often led by experts in their respective fields, and provide an opportunity for visitors to learn more about the history of the Hôtel d'Assézat and its collection.

For those looking for a more hands-on experience, the museum offers a variety of workshops and classes. These workshops are led by experienced instructors and cover a variety of topics, from art history to calligraphy. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced artist, there is sure to be a workshop that interests you.

Admission and Tickets

Admission to the Hôtel d'Assézat is quite reasonable, with standard tickets priced at €6 for adults. Visitors can also purchase a combined ticket that includes entry to the Musée des Augustins for a discounted rate of €For those seeking a more in-depth experience, guided tours are available for an additional fee, typically ranging from €3 to €5 per person. These tours offer a wealth of insights into the history and significance of the Hôtel d'Assézat, providing visitors with a deeper understanding of this remarkable monument.

For those planning to visit multiple museums in Toulouse, the Toulouse Pass offers an excellent value. This pass provides unlimited access to over 20 museums and monuments in the city, including the Hôtel d'Assézat, for a flat fee. The pass is available in 24-hour, 48-hour, and 72-hour options, making it a cost-effective choice for visitors with limited time.

The Hôtel d'Assézat also offers free admission on the first Sunday of each month, making it an excellent opportunity for budget-conscious travelers to explore this cultural gem. Visitors should note that the museum is closed on Mondays, so plan accordingly to avoid disappointment.

Museum Shop and Bookstore

The Hôtel d'Assézat houses a charming museum shop that offers a delightful array of items to commemorate your visit. Discover a treasure trove of souvenirs, including postcards, magnets, and replicas of the museum's most iconic artworks. For those seeking something truly unique, there's a selection of locally crafted products, such as ceramics, textiles, and jewelry.

Art enthusiasts will appreciate the museum's well-stocked bookstore, which features a diverse collection of art books, exhibition catalogs, and educational materials. Delve into the history of the Hôtel d'Assézat, explore the lives of the artists whose works grace its walls, and gain insights into the various artistic movements represented in the collection. Whether you're looking for a memento of your visit or seeking to expand your knowledge of art, the museum shop and bookstore offer something for everyone.

Accessibility and Facilities

The Hôtel d'Assézat is committed to providing an accessible and inclusive environment for all visitors. Wheelchair users and visitors with limited mobility will find designated parking spaces and ramps for easy access throughout the museum. The staff is trained to assist visitors with disabilities, and wheelchairs are available upon request.

Within the museum, elevators provide convenient access to all floors, ensuring that visitors can explore the entire collection without barriers. Restrooms are conveniently located and accessible for all, and baby changing facilities are also available. Lockers are provided for visitors to store their belongings while they explore the museum, and a café offers a place to relax and enjoy refreshments.

For visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing, the museum offers assistive listening devices and sign language interpretation upon request. Braille signage and tactile exhibits are also available to enhance the experience for visitors with visual impairments.

The Hôtel d'Assézat strives to create a welcoming and supportive environment for all visitors, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate the museum's rich collection and cultural heritage.

Photography and Videography Policies

Photography enthusiasts and content creators are welcome to capture the beauty of the Hôtel d'Assézat's interiors, but certain guidelines must be followed to ensure the preservation of the artwork and the comfort of other visitors. Flash photography and the use of tripods are strictly prohibited to minimize potential damage to the delicate paintings and sculptures.

Non-flash photography and videography for personal use are permitted, allowing visitors to document their experiences and share the splendor of the Hôtel d'Assézat with others. However, commercial photography or videography requires prior authorization from the museum's administration.

It is essential to be mindful of other visitors when taking photographs or videos, ensuring that their enjoyment of the exhibits is not disrupted. Respecting the privacy of other visitors and avoiding capturing them in your shots is paramount.

The Hôtel d'Assézat's copyright and usage rights for images must be respected. While personal use of photographs and videos is allowed, their reproduction or distribution for commercial purposes without proper authorization is strictly prohibited.

Hours of Operation

The Hôtel d'Assézat welcomes visitors throughout the week, offering ample opportunities to explore its rich collection and immerse oneself in its historical charm. Its doors are open from Tuesday to Sunday, inviting art enthusiasts and curious minds to delve into the wonders it holds.

The museum's consistent schedule allows for flexibility in planning a visit, whether spontaneous or meticulously organized. However, it is advisable to check the museum's website or contact them directly for any updates or seasonal variations in their hours of operation. This foresight can ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience.

To avoid the hustle and bustle of crowds, consider visiting during the weekdays, particularly in the morning hours. This tranquil atmosphere provides an intimate encounter with the artwork and allows for a deeper appreciation of their intricacies without distractions. Alternatively, if you prefer a more vibrant ambiance, weekends offer a chance to mingle with fellow art enthusiasts and experience the Hôtel d'Assézat's lively energy.

Visitor Etiquette

The Hôtel d'Assézat is a place of cultural significance and historical importance, and as such, it requires visitors to adhere to certain rules of conduct to ensure a respectful and enjoyable experience for all. Noise levels should be kept to a minimum, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the exhibits without distractions. Proper attire is also expected, with visitors being asked to dress appropriately for a cultural institution. The use of electronic devices should be limited, and when necessary, they should be used discreetly so as not to disturb others. Most importantly, visitors are reminded to respect the artwork and other visitors by refraining from touching or interacting with the exhibits in any way. By following these simple guidelines, visitors can contribute to a positive and enriching experience for everyone at the Hôtel d'Assézat.

History of the Foundation Bemberg

The Hôtel d'Assézat owes its current state of preservation and its transformation into a museum to the Foundation Bemberg. Created in 1949 by Georges Bemberg, a wealthy industrialist and art collector, the foundation's mission is to promote and preserve the Hôtel d'Assézat and its collection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts.

Over the years, the foundation has played a crucial role in restoring and renovating the Hôtel d'Assézat, ensuring its preservation for future generations. It has also been instrumental in acquiring new works of art to enrich the museum's collection and organizing temporary exhibitions and educational programs.

The Foundation Bemberg continues to be actively involved in the management and development of the Hôtel d'Assézat. Through its ongoing initiatives, such as conservation projects and educational workshops, the foundation aims to maintain the Hôtel d'Assézat as a vibrant cultural institution that fosters appreciation for art and history.

The Hôtel d'Assézat in Literature and Art

The Hôtel d'Assézat has left an indelible mark on the cultural landscape of Toulouse and beyond. It has served as a muse for countless writers, artists, and filmmakers, inspiring them to create works that capture its essence and significance.

One of the most famous literary references to the Hôtel d'Assézat can be found in the novel "The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown. In the book, the Hôtel is depicted as the location of a secret meeting between members of the Priory of Sion, a fictional organization said to be in possession of ancient secrets. This portrayal has undoubtedly contributed to the Hôtel's allure and mystique, attracting visitors from around the world who are eager to explore its hidden depths.

The Hôtel has also been featured in several films, including "The Three Musketeers" (1961) and "The Man in the Iron Mask" (1998). Its distinctive architecture and opulent interiors have made it a popular choice for filmmakers seeking to create a sense of historical authenticity.

Beyond its presence in literature and film, the Hôtel d'Assézat has also been immortalized in works of art. Numerous paintings and sketches depict its grandeur, capturing its intricate details and the vibrant life that once filled its halls. These artworks serve as a testament to the enduring legacy of the Hôtel and its importance as a cultural landmark.

The Hôtel d'Assézat's storied past and captivating beauty have made it a source of inspiration for generations of creative minds. Through literature, film, and art, the Hôtel has transcended its physical form, becoming a symbol of Toulouse's rich history and a source of wonder and fascination for people worldwide.

Insider Tip:

Beyond the main attractions, the Hôtel d'Assézat holds hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. In the inner courtyard, visitors can find a charming fountain adorned with intricate carvings, offering a tranquil respite from the bustling city. Take a moment to sit on one of the benches and soak in the serene atmosphere, away from the crowds.

Another hidden gem is the "Cabinet des Miroirs" (Hall of Mirrors), a small room located on the first floor. This intimate space boasts a stunning collection of 17th-century mirrors, creating a magical and reflective environment. The play of light and reflections adds a touch of enchantment to this hidden gem.

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